January 19, 2024Anmol Nagpal

Coal India Ltd eyes rare earth, mineral mines from government

Coal India Ltd (CIL) plans to acquire rare earth and critical mineral mines, including lithium, directly from the government.

Source: PTI

CIL is also likely to bid for Jammu & Kashmir’s lithium reserves in upcoming auctions.

Source: X Photo

The company would be able to apply for mines reserved for government companies or corporations.

Source: Unsplash

The company’s plans to foray into domestic critical mineral assets comes with the government’s new focus in the segment.

Source: Unsplash / Representative

CIL has already been looking into acquisition opportunities for critical mineral mines abroad, said CIL's annual report for FY23.

Source: Pixabay

India is a net importer of critical minerals and, in a bid to boost domestic mining, the government last year passed the Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2023.

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The government introduced exploration licence for deep-seated and critical minerals in the bill.

Source: Pexels

Lithium, in particular, is among the highest in demand given its use in batteries for mobile phones, electronic vehicles for which India is completely import dependent, mostly from China.

Source: X Photo

The Geological Survey of India (GSI) last year found lithium reserves of about 5.9 million tonnes in J&K. These blocks are likely to be put up for auction next month.

Source: X Photo